You did this to yourself. It’s New Year’s Day and you went a little too hard the night before… again. We're not judging, though. 2016 was dismal for all, it’s only right you ring in 2017 with a really, really crazy loud bang. And, well, now you have the hangover to match.
After reaching for the closest liquid you can find, next on the agenda is likely figuring out what food you can actually keep down and something that will help stave off what feels like your impending death. Some foods have been scientifically proven to help cure a hangover, but when you’re a passenger on the struggle bus, all logic tends to go out the window (also, try to argue with anyone who swears by greasy diner food as a cure-all—you can’t). It’s mostly about what’s going to make us feel better in the short term.
To help guide you, we consulted some chefs on what their go-to hangover foods are. Hopefully, you have a local Chinese spot already picked out on Seamless.
Laurence Edelman, chef and owner of Left Bank
"Sometimes, all you need is an ice-cold Diet Coke and a couple of Excedrin Migraine, followed by a dozen oysters at your favorite oyster bar. The big three: caffeine, pain relief, and sustenance. The next level up is asking for fish balls in broth, peanut noodles, and steamed pork dumplings from your go-to Chinese place. That trio should restore you back to health in no time. More severe hangovers absolutely require Chinese delivery. My personal go-to being pork chow fun and hot and sour soup."
Chris Rendell, chef and owner of Flinders Lane
"My first suggestion is a huge plate of steak and eggs. If you can't stomach all of that, hit up your favorite dumpling spot for pork dumplings and pork pancakes. Pork fixes everything. It may seem strange, but Fanta always works, too—although I prefer the Australian Fanta to the U.S. version."
Jake Adams, chef at Bunk Sandwiches NYC
"The best thing to do is eat a banana to replace some potassium, and have some soup (pho is great, good ol' tomato soup is also excellent) to replace those lost fluids. Stay away from greasy foods as the relief is momentary, and rarely worth it in the long run. A good middle ground is a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich with plenty of hot sauce and black coffee. (To get science-y, eggs contain cysteine, which breaks down the hangover-causing toxin acetaldehyde in the liver. They are also delicious.) In a pinch (i.e., at the bodega on the way to work), grab said banana, a Gatorade, and a spicy V8."
Ricardo Arias, chef at dinnertable
"I like to call hangovers ‘taco fevers.’ The only cure for a hangover is a chorizo tostada, two carnitas tacos with extra onions and cilantro, and an ice cold Sidral Mundet (apple soda).”
“My favorite ‘hangover cure’ would be some home-made chilaquiles with lots of cheese, hot sauce, pickled jalapeños, and a fried egg.”
Todd Mitgang, chef at Crave Fishbar
“One of my best buds in middle school was Korean and the college I went to had a decently-sized Korean population, so I really fell in love with all sorts of Korean food, especially kimchi, early on. As I started my career as a chef, I was introduced to the Ecuadorian hangover cure, which is a big bowl of salty broth. These days, I find the ultimate day-after food is a big bowl of kimchi stew with some french fries thrown in. You get the salty hydration, the spicy so you sweat out all the bad stuff, and then, of course, the greasy french fries to top it all off."
“I will go for pozole or green chile stew (Santa Fe-style) with grilled, fresh flour tortillas. I think the fact that they are both a soup-like consistency makes them ideal hangover foods (lots of liquid) and also that they are spicy and salty. I always add sour cream, jack cheese, lime juice, and cilantro to mine. And when you are closer to the end of the bowl, you soup everything up with a fat, grilled flour tortilla... yummy.
“Or, I go for a spicy miso ramen. Similar to above, it’s filling with the noodles, and it's spicy, salty, and the both is so good... It's like you are rehydrating your body. If only that were true. But honestly, I think soup-like consistencies are a little easier to digest and keep down... depending on how hungover you are.”
“While living in Santa Fe, I learned about hangover stew (pork or beef stew with spicy green Hatch chile, potato, cilantro and a rich broth). And there is always a great breakfast burrito with eggs, potato, and chorizo to fight hangovers. These days, I opt for a more healthy option, if the need arises, like a nourishing green juice with a side shot of lemon, ginger, and cayenne.”
Robb Jones, head bartender at Spoon and Stable
“The best hangover food is Vietnamese egg rolls and a steaming hot bowl of pho. The combo of greasy delicious fried things and a menagerie of easy to digest, slurpy, noodly goodness is perfect for alleviating any ailments. Bonus points for adding plenty of chili oil.”